Sher and Kris, cousins and teenage Ojibwe runaways, are fleeing a family history of abuse and dysfunction, seeking a better life in the summer of 1969. They’re sure they can find someone to put them up in Minneapolis as they flee towards the State Fair. Their plans fall through but they’ll go anyway, earning money working at concessions.
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Carnival Lights depicts their incredible journey not only through the streets of Minneapolis, but through a world of crime, sexual predators, and family secrets. It’s a novel of layer upon layer of emotion, pain, and compassionas it traverses a toxic landscape full of intergenerational abuse, of genocide in governmental packages and in derogatory remarks that slowly eat away at a person’s dignity.
“Chris Stark’s lyrical prose liberates her often-nightmarish tale of everyday sordidness to create an elegy for the Ojibwe of the past and an advocate for current and future generations, especially young Native American women. It is a voice to be reckoned with. Once read, Carnival Lights’ message will not be silenced.” — Tyler R. Tichelaar, award-winning author of Kawbawgam: The Chief, The Legend, The Man